Scott Wolter did another interview, this time with biophysicist and pyramid conspiracy theorist John DeSalvo on the Science and Paranormal Hour radio show. DeSalvo appeared on an episode of America Unearthed and claims to have lost half his listeners as a result. That’s neither here nor there, nor is the fact that I can’t stand his voice. He sounds like a midcentury children’s show clown, and for me it was like listening to fingernails on chalkboard. His habit of shouting all of his questions made it still worse, his effusive praise of Wolter notwithstanding. (Even Wolter noted that DeSalvo was blowing smoke up his ass.)
Scott Wolter Embraces Atlantis, Claims Newly Translated Papers Document "Templar" Construction of the Newport Tower
I spent part of yesterday meeting with my lawyer again after I received a multi-page letter from the attorney representing the same occasional cable TV figure who has made legal demands against me for the past four years. This time, he is claiming that I am involved in a “civil conspiracy” to defame him. Anyway, it’s a long, involved thing, and that has sadly limited my time for writing today. Therefore, I will share two brief stories that are interesting, but about which there isn’t a lot to say.
Happy New Year! As we start the new year, it’s time to take stock of a few odds and ends left over from the month that just passed by. First, I will share my unalloyed joy that the offensively incompetent Unexplained + Unexplored on the Science Channel hit a series low of just 299,000 viewers on Sunday for its painfully awful effort to find the Fountain of Youth. The show has steadily lost viewers for the majority of its eight weeks, according to the Nielsen ratings, which is typically the kiss of death for a cable show. It lost 10% from its lead-in and barely squeaked by the ratings for mid-afternoon reruns of Dr. Pohl on NatGeo and the middle of the night reruns of Married to Medicine on Bravo. Of course, it’s also a show about history conspiracy theories, and cable networks love to renew those because they are considered “evergreens” that can be rerun, repackaged, and resold around the world for years to come. And it did manage to outdraw original shows on other cable channels in its 10 PM timeslot, including Oxygen’s lineup.
Perhaps more than any year in recent memory, 2019 was the year in which fringe history stopped being fringe and went completely mainstream. This year, we saw pseudohistory and conspiracy theories top the literary bestseller lists, multiply across cable channels like mushrooms on a rotten log, and attract record crowds to traveling carnivals masquerading as pseudohistory “fan” conventions. It perfectly captures the tenor of the times for the post-truth era that the very notions of fact and fiction ceased to have meaning. This was a long, hard year, both for the world and also for me personally. After dealing with family health problems, buying and selling a house (and still not being able to close on selling the old one until early 2020, nearly half a year after the sale), writing two books, and a knot of lawyers for many different developments, I am ready for this unpleasant year to end. Let’s look back in anger:
I wonder how much of the time I spent watching Unexplored + Unexplained is just a complete waste since absolutely no one is watching it. According to the Nielsen ratings, just 348,000 people watched the Science Channel’s broadcast of the show’s search for the Ark of the Covenant on Sunday. Meanwhile, America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter, whose show airs on Science’s corporate cousin the Travel Channel, appeared on the Earth Ancients podcast to promote his new book, Cryptic Code of the Templar in America. (My review: Part 1, Part 2). Honestly, it was more of the same. All his greatest hits were there—Templars, Holy Bloodline Da Vinci Code conspiracies (cited by name as Da Vinci Code ideas), the Kensington Rune Stone, and the Newport Tower. We’ve talked about all of them before, and there is nothing new to say there. Most of the interview was devoted to the imaginary “mysteries” of the Newport Tower, and the “pagan rituals” he pretends were performed there. Instead, I’d like to talk about some of the less repetitive parts of the interview.
Last week saw the last new episode of Ancient Aliens for 2019. The episode trended down from the previous week, bringing in 897,000 viewers, compared to 925,000 for the Tucker Carlson episode the week before. The numbers suggest that at least some of the previous week’s viewer spike was attributable to Carlson fans tuning in, but the numbers are so small that the greater part is probably due to random fluctuation. In Search Of had 963,000 viewers for its final episode of the season. Meanwhile, the Science Channel conspiracy fringe history series Unexplained + Unexplored trended up to 441,000 viewers for its episode hunting the alleged killer of Meriwether Lewis.
I managed to injure my wrist shoveling heavy, wet snow yesterday, so it is a little difficult for me to type today. As a result, I am going to (try to) be brief. In Ancient Origins this week, eco-apocalyptic thinker Lucy Wyatt tries to make an argument about why the Knights Templar were interested in the ancient city of Harran, the longtime seat of the Sabians, until rural Muslim militias destroyed their community in the 1030s. Wyatt argues that St. Bernard of Clairvaux and the Knights Templar participated in the Second Crusade in 1145 in order to have a pretext for invading Harran to steal the Sabians’ Hermetic and alchemical secrets, since the Sabians were well-known Hermetic philosophers.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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